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MCPS approves 2022-23 schedule | Mclean County

McLean County Public Schools has approved the 2022-23 school calendar.

The school board unanimously approved the district schedule for next year with a 5-0 vote.

The timetable will follow a “variable teaching year for pupils” format, which means pupils will attend school for 162 pupil days, or 1,062 hours, compared to 172 pupil days if they follow. a “traditional school year for pupils”.

Teachers will remain under contract to work for 186 days, which includes days when students are not present, such as professional development and professional learning days.

Ashley Troutman, assistant superintendent of student services, said the schedule was decided by a dedicated committee made up of teachers, staff, parents, chamber members and other community members. The committee considered a number of options before deciding to recommend their variable schedule.

“We spent quite a bit of time discussing (this),” Troutman said. “…We met for a few hours at the first (meeting) and to be honest with you I don’t know since I’ve been here that we had to have a second meeting and we made one practically just because there has been a lot of discussion about it.

The first day for students will be August 31, with students having September 5 and the week of October 10-14 respectively for Labor Day and Fall Break. Students will also have Nov. 8 off for Election Day, followed by Nov. 23-25 ​​for the Thanksgiving break.

Troutman told Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS), that schools using the variable calendar option cannot start until the Monday closest to August 26.

“Technically we could start on August 29, but I don’t think this district or very many districts ever start a full week out of the gate in week one. Generally, most (districts) do three days. This allows students to acclimatize to school, teachers to acclimatize to school…. »

Troutman notes that the fall vacation week is what “every school district in this area” is adopting for its upcoming school years.

The fall semester for students will end on December 16.

For 2023, students will return for the spring semester on January 3, with days off on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 16, February 17, and February 20, with the latter two being used for make-up days. if schools are closed before February 17.

Spring break will be the week of April 3-7, and students will be off for Election Day on May 16.

The last day of the school year for students is scheduled for May 25.

Superintendent Tommy Burrough said the variable schedule has “zero banking days” that the district can use in the event of inclement weather.

With that, Burrough is asking to add five minutes to each school day, which would equal three extra make-up days that the district could save and use if needed.

“…When you (work on) a variable schedule, you don’t work on days. You work over hours,” Burrough said. “Each school has its own schedule…and if you add five minutes,…to those hours over the course of the year, that would give us three bank days.”

Although the board has agreed to approve the schedule, some board members have expressed concerns about keeping to the variable schedule at the January 25 school board luncheon — particularly regarding students attending 10 days less than the traditional schedule option due to students not attending in-person instruction due to COVID.

Board member Angie Bumpus said she was happy with the look of the calendar, but wanted to make sure the calendar was for what would serve students best.

“Are we doing our children a disservice if we cut (days)?” Bumpus said. “We are already reducing their instruction time in school and over the past two years they have had less time in school with the pandemic and less (time together) with friends….

“If we want to draw the pins, we are here because of the children. They lost…in there. They have to get the most they can get, I think. Are they getting what they need? …Does this calendar meet their needs?

“I think we’re going to have to be extremely mindful of every day usage,” board member Katie Gunterman said. “The amount of wasted time can’t happen if we’re on this schedule…or else we’ll have kids behind. … I just want to make sure we use (when) our kids are in school for as long as possible. The highest and best utilization.

However, Burrough and Troutman said the district followed the variable schedule model for the past two school years due to the coronavirus pandemic for 2020-21 and HVAC issues at Calhoun Elementary School for 2021-22. .

With the variable schedule, students would attend fewer days but fulfill the requirement of the number of hours they must meet by KRS.

On Thursday, Bumpus and Gunterman were still “on the fence” and had some concerns, but came up with an idea that would help students stay on track while still being able to socialize with their peers.

“I’ve been rehashing this thing 400 different ways since Tuesday,” Gunterman said. “…We are worried that (our students) are falling behind in reading and math and so on. We got on so well last summer with the summer school. Would love if we could dive in and find out if we could offer a three week program where it’s fun to learn. ….If (the students) haven’t had the opportunity to take a vacation during the summer, maybe they can come to school and learn a little and have fun.

But Gunterman stressed that the variable schedule will hopefully retain teachers and keep them in the county, which is the overriding goal.

“If they know they don’t have to think about decorating their classroom or attending a (professional development) here in July, what if that makes them think twice about jumping ship?”, Gunterman said. “…Our good teachers (would) absolutely make up for those missed days in class, hands down. … It’s about what’s best for the kids. But if we keep good teachers, that’s also best for our children.

Freddie Bourne, [email protected]